Aviation

Revealed: the fastest way to board a plane

We all know that the worst part of going on holiday is waiting to get on the plane. Don’t deny it.

Then, once you get on, there is always, always a blockage of some sort on the plane. Like someone trying to fit a weeks worth of luggage into a overhead compartment, or someone sitting in the wrong seat and having to try and backtrack down the plane.

1489022175225

We’ve been there. And it has to stop.

Most airlines load passengers on rear rows first, in blocks depending on their seating – which makes trying to board a plane probably the most time consuming it can possibly be.

And yes, it’s annoying. But it’s also costly for the airlines. According to the ABC, passenger boarding delays cost serious dollars.

For example, an idling plane can cost the airline upwards of $40 (and all the way up to $337) a minute, with delays costing almost $40 billion each year – and that’s just in the US.

Luckily, one astrophysicist has been running it over in his mind.

Dr Jason Steffen developed a boarding method almost a decade ago, but airports and airlines have yet to materialise the idea.

To find the quickest way to board a plane, Steffen made a model of a plane and compared boarding rear rows first and front rows first in a simulation, assuming that front rows first would be the slowest. But both boarding methods had almost identical times.

In 2012, Steffen conducted an experimental test with television producer Jon Hotchkiss, where the pair recruited people to board a mock Boeing 757 with 12 rows of six seats and an aside down the centre.

Steffen’s method was compared to boarding in blocks from the rear, random seating and “Wilma” seating – window seats, followed by middle seats, then aisle seats last.

Block boarding (the method currently used) was the slowest, taking almost seven minutes. And Steffen’s method was the fastest, taking just over three and a half minutes.

Steffen’s genius method goes like this:

  • If a plane has 20 rows of seats, with three either side of the window, 20A will board first
  • Then 18A, 16A, 14A and so forth
  • Then boarding shifts to the other side of the plane: 20F, 18F and so on
  • Next, the odd row window seats board in the same way
  • Repeat for middle seats and aisle seats

And that’s it!

However, while some airlines have taken up boarding from both the front and rear doors, none have picked up Steffen’s method since it was published in 2008.

“We’ve had some low-level interest, but nothing’s materialised yet,” he said.

And as for the future of boarding planes? Steffen thinks airlines should still allocate seats, but give up their current boarding method.

“My advice to airlines would be: aeroplane’s open, everyone jump aboard,” he said.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “Revealed: the fastest way to board a plane”

  1. Southwest more or less boards this way and has about the fastest turns of any major airline.

    I’m sitting now waiting to board in group 4 on a United flight and SWA probably would have turned two flights in the amount of time I’ve been sitting here.

Leave a Reply

Technology

Luxury Escapes CEO and marketing boss make quiet exit

by Huntley Mitchell

On the flipside, the online travel company has just appointed its first chief growth and consumer product officer.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld punished for “technical oversight”, with company shares suspended on ASX

by Huntley Mitchell

Andrew Burnes has been left red-faced after Helloworld left out some “technical information” in the company’s unaudited FY20 results.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Australia’s Tourism Restart Taskforce says preparedness of airlines, airports critical in reviving international travel

by Christian Fleetwood

Interestingly, the Tourism Restart Taskforce is lacking a representative from Australia’s airlines or airports.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Nominate a mate for a Club Med holiday, QT Hotels launches dog stays + MORE

This week’s Hotel Wrap is all about spoiling yourself and your clients with a host of deals, competitions and doggie stays.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre to close at least 90 more stores

In sad news, domestic and international border closures have caused further store closures for Flight Centre, leaving it with 330 of the 740 stores the brand had before COVID-19.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

DFAT accidentally reveals email addresses of Aussies stranded overseas

by Christian Fleetwood

The embarrassing blunder by DFAT comes after it reportedly terminated as many as 100 contractors, with some of those having worked in IT and policy roles.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Rail Europe teams up with Aeronology, Mary Valley Rattler champions accessibility + MORE

Have your Thursdays been feeling hollow of late? Like there is some kind of gaping void gnawing away at the day? It’s probably because we haven’t run a Road & Rail Wrap for a few weeks.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Become a certified ‘SA Expert’ and gain access to exclusive offers (plus a whole lot more)

by Sponsored by South Australian Tourism Commission

With nearly all domestic borders open to South Australia, now is a good time to get up to date on the best experiences this state has to offer.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Julie King launches global platform for industry learning and collaboration

The new platform will host a FREE 10-week webinar series, so you’re practically losing money if you don’t attend. At least, that’s our understanding.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Rex signs letters of intent on six leased 737s for domestic routes

Rex’s ambitions of becoming a domestic route competitor to Qantas and Virgin are becoming a reality. Next step: a team song.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Corporate Travel Management raises $262m to help fund US acquisition

Much to the delight of CTM’s executives, investors have wasted no time snapping up newly-offered shares in the company.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: Carnival reveals Mardi Gras atrium plans, Silversea revamps online training + MORE

This week’s Cruise Wrap is so hefty, we reckon that if each letter weighed a tonne, it would equate to a 4,000-pax ship. However, we’re not mathematicians and we also haven’t made any effort to count each individual letter.

Share

CommentComments